The ongoing negotiation between Technical Universities Teachers Association of Ghana (TUTAG) and government has yet to yield any positive result as the former declares â€œstalemateâ€.
The Fair Wages and Salary Commission said the stalemate was declared despite â€œlong drawn negotiationsâ€ involving â€œhigh powered government delegationâ€ which lasted for almost 8 hours.
The teachers have been on strike for weeks making several demands from government to enable them enjoy same benefits as colleagues in traditional universities. Some students have been demonstrating to get the government to respond to the demands of their teachers.
But the FWSCâ€™s update to the media on Thursday said all government offers were rejected by TUTAG in the meeting.
â€œâ€¦TUTAG rejected govtâ€™s offers and thus declared a stalemate.
â€œAs it stands, under the TUTAG declaration of a stalemate, govâ€™t is required to withdraw ALL offers made thus far,â€ the fair wages said.
FWSC UPDATE ON THE GOVT-TUTAG DELIBERATIONS SO FAR.
TUTAG have been duly migrated unto the SSSS, effective August 2019, along with all salaries and allowances due them. They were however demanding to be accorded equal allowances exactly as it is with university professors.
They were also demanding an overwhelming relaxation of the requirements to become a full-fledged professor. (They introduced this bit just when the parties were about to conclude the deal on the salaries and allowances)
An earlier staff audit of the elevated technical universities revealed major gaps between the minimum requirements for qualification to lecture in a university and what actually existed on the campuses.
Govâ€™t was however responsive to making deep concessions for them.
Regarding the relaxation of the requirements to lecture in a university, those who do not meet the minimum requirements were granted a reasonable number of years to upgrade to upgrade their qualification. Moreover, they were appropriately placed on the correct job title but with NO DECREASE IN SALARY.
Beyond that, the 4 ministers (the Minister for Employment & Labour Relations; Minister for Planning; Minister of State in Charge of Tertiary Education;
Deputy Min for Finance) pledged to ensure that even further concessions are made, including the possibility of a waiver of a PhD requirement (for those who have served for a considerable number of years).
The ministers further tabled the possibility of getting govâ€™t to financially support the upgrading process.
Regarding the demand for salary parity between traditional and technical universities, govâ€™t committed to attaining it in budgetary phases throughout 2020 (despite the huge and sudden impact on the budget, especially in an election year); and to be completed in full, by Jan 2021.
TUTAG however demanded an immediate surrender of all the concessions govâ€™t made.
In effect, govâ€™t did not reject a single one of their demands. But unfortunately, TUTAG did not table any compromises during the process; a stance which is inconsistent with negotiating in good faith.
TUTAG demanded a â€˜Responsibly Allowanceâ€™ of 4172. Govt offered 3221 immediately. The rest were to be granted in phases thru the months ahead, up until the latter parts of next year.
Electricity Allowance: Hitherto non-existent, but offered by govâ€™t.
Rent Allowance: Hitherto pegged between 10gh and 20gh. Government offered 20% of basic pay.
Fuel: Not previously allocated; but government offered 20 gallons.
Entertainment Allowance: TUTAG insisted that they also enjoy same Entertainment Allowance as done in the traditional universities. Govâ€™t committed to granting that, as part of the phased implementation.
(Their dire demand for â€œEntertainmentâ€ Allowance was one of the major reasons for their strikes, irrespective of the effect on the teeming students in the country).
Since in the view of govâ€™t, technical universities are part of the public universities now, TUTAG was informed that theyâ€™ll be paid all the allowances existing in the universities at the same rate. Indeed, govâ€™t is in the process of reviewing and harmonizing all allowances in the universities.
From about 19:00, TUTAG started calling for a halt in the negotiations. However the Minister for Employment insisted that both parties stay until a meaningful settlement has been reached in the interest of industrial harmony and to ensure that Ghanaian students do not suffer.
After the long drawn negotiations, which involved a high powered govâ€™t delegation and lasted for almost 8 hrs, TUTAG rejected govtâ€™s offers and thus declared a stalemate.
As it stands, under the TUTAG declaration of a stalemate, govâ€™t is required to withdraw ALL offers made thus far.